Disclaimer: I am not arguing that playing ridiculously outmatched decks like my long-time favorite crystal beasts will bring favorable results or even marginal happiness at a YCS, regional, or even local tournament. Instead, I am simply arguing that you don’t need to play Zoodiacs to have a fun time J.
On the eve of the Raging Tempest release, it seems that the player base is becoming increasingly polarized in yugioh. The serious, more financially-invested (and financially-able) players are capitalizing on the best set since BOSH, while there is a significant portion of the player base that simply wishes to take a break from yugioh until the summer banlist and pretend this upcoming format never existed. While I definitely am concerned about Zoodiacs, I think people are underestimating the level of creativity, fun, and excitement there will be in posing as David against the metaphoric Goliath.
After playing a few different decks competitively (domain and xyz monarch, blue eyes, toadally heroes), I have come to realize that I personally prefer playing a competitive but not overpowered deck, i.e. tier 1. Here are some of my reasons.
This is probably the most “no-brainer” aspect of my argument. Supply and demand is economic law, and yugioh is no different. At Blue Eyes’s peak, the White Stone of Ancients was a crisp $20, and now it is a somewhat pathetic $5 as everyone jumps for Zoodiacs instead. As individual card prices have dropped, assembling a complete Blue Eyes deck is now completely feasible. This is important as I distinctly remember although many blue eyes players had all the “blue eyes” related cards, they couldn’t afford the additional solemn strikes, pot of desires, and expensive side deck cards. In my opinion, a complete tier 1.5 deck fares better than an economic version of a tier 1 deck most of the time. Lastly, playing tier 1 is like asking Konami to ban or limit your expensive cards and make you sad and neg.
Yugioh is a multi-faceted game. There’s elements of luck, pressure, time, technical skill in resource management, and mind games. In my opinion, yugioh is mostly a game of interactions, so having a leg up on mind games can be a serious difference maker. Firstly, if you just dropped $500 on a deck, you probably will be feeling a lot of pressure from yourself and your peers. Pressure leads to less risk taking, more distractions, and possibly more errors. Don’t let yourself get caught up in all that when having fun with yugioh. Secondly, nothing freaks me out more than to see someone summon an obscure monster with a paragraph of effects of size 3 font. While I doubt a Zoodiac player will not understand the effects of Stone of Ancients, I think its plausible to believe they won’t know all the different interactions and resource management techniques of a lesser deck like Blue Eyes. Lastly, siding is now more important than ever in yugioh. With outrageously strong decks like ABC last format, some people were siding in as many as 8 cards (System down, Random Kaijus, Effect Veiler, Maxx C, Cherries) out of the 15 total side deck cards. Playing an obscure or less common deck gives you a chance to dodge those tough counters.
More Favorable Technical Match-Ups
Lastly, playing an anti-meta or non-meta deck can potentially also give you a leg up on specific match ups if you structure your deck to combat their specific strengths and weaknesses. For example, a good friend of mine designed a Yosenju Kaiju deck specifically to break the boards of Blue Eyes and Burning Abyss Phantom Knights since he recognized significant ways to get around Beatrice with Kaijus and Blue Eyes with Kama 1’s bouncing effect and Barrier Statues (which few other decks that special summon can play). This type of strategy typically works best if the top meta is less diverse and concentrated with similar strategies and/or archetypes. This next format does seem to skew a bit on the less diverse side.
As a closing thought, yugioh honestly is a very fun, complex game in which you luckily don’t have to be like everyone else to be successful (unlike some other facets in life). Don’t be afraid to try something normal and meta or weird and less expensive (the second one is really fun though)! At worst, you have a great time and you lose at a game.
(Submitted by a friend)